Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Why I Can Laugh With Impunity at #Me, Too

From the first Long Beach Grand Prix in April, 1975 to 1995 when I dropped everything to write my first book, "SPONSORS:  How to Get One; How to Keep One," published in 1996, you would have found me - the only female photojournalist there - trackside at any of the following venues:

Grand Prix - Formula 1, Bandol, France
Indy Cars - Ontario Motor Speedway
Off-Road at Riverside International Raceway or Baja, California
Sprint cars - Ascot
Motocross - Coliseum -  and Baja where they went off the line first
Flat track motorcycles
Motorcycle road racing, Laguna

The only exceptions were the infrequent times that Judy Smith, "Dusty Times" was covering a Riverside off-road, but 90 per cent of the time, she was competing and getting a real firsthand look at it all.  We used to wave to each other as she flashed past.

Not a track, but the LA Rams stadium; hired me to shoot their new cheerleader costumes.  I was, again, the only female shooter on the field.  I was a source of great curiosity to the guys covering it.  They stayed clumped together until one bravely approached and asked me how I was doing?  When I replied, "Oh, fine - but I'm still trying to figure out how they get the bowling ball over those funny sticks down at the end there."  He roared, I was accepted and they became friendly.  I decided to stay and shoot the game since I was there and had done my assigned job.  For my pains I was almost put through a wall by about 500 lbs. of player heading for a touchdown.

The shot I took?  The backs of the ladies, lined up for the tunnel formation to the players coming onto the field.  Their little buns winked in the sun, they tossed their hair with abandon, their pompoms glistened - and I laugh every time I see that shot.  

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